I sling my duffel over my shoulder and wait for Hollis to unlock the front door. Inside, I drop the bag with a thud and kick off my boots. The others do the same.
“Honey, we’re home!” Hollis shouts.
Laughter echoes from upstairs.
My pulse speeds up when her footsteps approach the landing. She appears at the railing in fleece pants and a Briar sweatshirt, her hair up in a messy twist.
Hollis’s eyes glaze over. There’s nothing indecent about Summer’s outfit, but this girl could make a burlap sack look sexy.
“Hey. Welcome home!” she says cheerfully.
“Hey,” I call up to her. My voice sounds strained.
Hunter shrugs out of his coat and tosses it on the hook. “Blondie,” he drawls. “Glad you’re here.”
Hollis nods. “For real.”
“Aw, thanks. I’m glad to be here.”
“Hold on. You need a proper hello.” Grinning, Hunter bounds up the stairs.
Her cheeks go a little pink as he draws her into his arms for a hug.
I wrench my gaze away and pretend to be really focused with the task of hanging up my jacket. I don’t know if he kisses her or not, but Summer is still blushing when I force myself to turn back.
“Gonna get changed,” Hunter says.
He ducks into his room, and Hollis wanders off to the kitchen. Which means Summer and I are alone when I reach the second-floor landing.
She watches me warily. “Did you guys have a good time?”
“Cool.” She edges toward her open bedroom door.
I peer past her slender shoulder and spot a perfectly made bed with a white duvet and about a hundred throw pillows. There’s a neon-pink beanbag chair on the floor, along with a shaggy white rug. An open laptop sits on a small corner desk that wasn’t there when Dean inhabited the room.
She’s made herself at home.
This is her home, a voice reminds me.
“Thanks for letting me—” She corrects herself. “—for agreeing to have me as a roommate.”
I shrug. “No prob. We needed a fourth.”
She’s still inching away, as if she doesn’t want to be near me. I wonder if she’s remembering how she practically threw herself at me on New Year’s Eve and then ended up playing tonsil hockey with my teammate.
Not that I’m bitter or anything.
“Anyway…” She trails off.
“Yeah. I…” I start traveling backward too. “I’m gonna grab a shower. We got one last run in—ah, round of Monopoly,” I amend, “before we left and I’m all sweaty.”
Summer raises her eyebrows. “I didn’t realize Monopoly was so strenuous.”
Hunter snickers from his doorway.
I turn to glare at him, because he’s the one who came up with the Monopoly alibi in the first place, but he’s not there. He’s moved past the doorway as he shrugs into a shirt.
“Board games are intense,” I answer lamely. “At least the way we play ‘em.”
“Interesting. I can’t wait for roomie game night, then.” Her shoulder bumps the door as her backward journey ends. “Enjoy your shower, Fitz.”
She disappears into her bedroom, and I lumber into mine. When my phone buzzes, I almost fall over with relief. I need the distraction before I start thinking too hard about how fucking awkward that whole encounter was.